Marine Protected Areas 

According to the UNEP-World Conservation Monitoring Centre (World Protected Areas Data Base, 2008), some 125 protected areas have been designated bordering the Black Sea coast. These vary in size from tiny scientific reserves of 1 ha up to the newly designated Zernov's Phyllophora Field in the northwest shelf of Ukraine (402,500 ha). However, in many cases, it is not clear from the designation data whether or not any coastal zones, let alone sub-shore marine waters, are covered by the protected area, so the list provided here must be treated with caution. At present, it appears that some 1.1 million ha of coastal/marine protected areas have been designated by Black Sea countries, but about half of this is represented by the Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve in Romania alone. The most significant sites that certainly include a marine zone proper are:

  • Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve (Romania) which has a marine buffer zone extending out to a depth of 20 m and covering 103,000 ha;
  • 2 Mai: Vama Veche (Romania) is entirely marine, covering 5,000 ha;
  • Kholketi National Park (Georgia) has an adjacent marine reserve that comprises a shelf extending 6 - 8 km from the coastline and covers 15,742 ha
  • Zernov's Phyllophora Field Botanical Reserve (Zakaznik), declared in November 2008, which is entirely marine and covers 402,500 ha;
  • Chernomorskiy Biosphere Reserve (Ukraine) includes Tendrivsky and Yagorlitsky Bays which cover 74,971 ha (84%) of the area; and 
  • Bolshoi Utrish (Russia) has 2,530 ha of marine area up to 40 m deep extending 2 km offshore.